Make listening to your podcasts in iTunes even easier

I follow a lot of podcasts. They make for great background while I work and by following podcasts like TWiT and Buzz Out Loud I can easily keep up with what’s going on in the world of tech.

To make listening to my podcasts even easier I made a Smart Playlist in iTunes to consolidate my unplayed podcasts. Here’s what I did:

  1. In iTunes, select “New Smart Playlist…” from the File menu
  2. In the Smart Playlist rules create a rule for “Podcast is true”
  3. Add a rule by clicking on the + next to the first rule
  4. Set the second rule to “Play Count is 0”
  5. You can add more rules if you like, or just click OK and name the playlist

Smart Playlist setup

This Smart Playlist has a couple advantages when playing podcasts. First, podcasts will play continuously, so when one podcast ends, the next one will begin. Second, podcasts will not drop off this list until you have played them to the end. This is better than the “is new” indicator in the Podcasts list which disappears as soon as you start playing a podcast.

Update: As an added advantage if you are sorting by item number you can drag and drop your podcasts to change their play order.

itunes, apple, ipod, music, podcast, mp3, netcast

Steve Jobs – Thoughts on Music and DRM

Ever wonder what the CEO of one of the world’s leading music retailers thinks of Digital Rights Management? Today Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. told us in a message titled “Thoughts on Music” which I hope we will some day look back on as the beginning of the end for DRM.

In the post Jobs clearly presents the current situation (each vendor has their own library of music, protected by their own DRM which will only work on their own software and devices) and offers up three possible futures, the most interesting of which is the third:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.

If you are interested in DRM or would like to learn more about it and why it’s such a hot topic right now, I highly recommend reading Jobs’ entire post. Remember, Apple is currently ahead in this field and if anything has the most to loose if they lost their brand lock-in.

drm, digital rights management, music, mp3, aac, apple, computer, records

The Ultimate iPod/Party/Travel/Drinking accessory

iBreathWell I certainly wasn’t beating down the door for the Nike + iPod Sport Kit but now DavidSteel.com has come up with an iPod accessory I could really use: an Alcohol Breathalyzer with Integrated FM Wireless Transmitter!

Yup, that’s right, soon for just $79 you will be able to pull out your iPod and check your blood alcohol content, then you can decide if it’s time to drive home to “Born to be Wild” or just mellow out and sober up to some Jim Morrison (ok, maybe someone else.)

Dubbed the iBreath, the device powers itself off the iPod battery, supports the full FM band (88.1 – 107.9) and claims accuracy within 0.01% blood alcohol content. I want one, don’t you?

Thanks to Will for sending this on to me.

drink, drinking, alcohol, ipod, apple, mp3, party, breathalyzer

This Week in Tech Podcast – Feed your Inner Geek!

TWiTThere are a lot of dry monotone technology podcasts out there, but Leo Laporte’s TWiT podcast isn’t one of them. Every week Laporte brings together a cast of industry leaders to discuss exciting technology topics ranging from the latest offerings from Microsoft to what’s new on RFID hacking.

Laporte, along with regulars Patrick Norton and John C. Dvorak are joined by other technology professionals for this roundtable discussion. Together they run through a dozen or so top technology each week. Typically these podcasts are a bit over an hour, but if you have a long drive like I do, it’s an hour well spent.

If you work in or are studying technology, especially information technology, you should check out the TWIT podcast. Get the MP3 or AAC version on iTunes!

technology, tech, podcast, mp3

Agent 18 VideoShield iPod Case

Agent 18 VideoShieldFor the record, choosing an iPod was easy, choosing a case was very, very difficult.

Finally fed up with waiting for the battery replacement on my 10GB 3rd generation iPod I went out and bought myself a black 60GB iPod last week.

I couldn’t be happier with the device, but then there was the real dilemma… Which case to get…

Too many choices. When all was said and done I settled on the Agent 18 VideoShield. I had seen an Agent 18 on a coworker’s nano and it seemed to fit the bill.

I got the case earlier this week and it’s fantastic. The case is hard plastic and protects the back, body and screen very well.

Pros

  • Clear case does not change look of iPod
  • Covers screen
  • Allows access to all ports and hold switch
  • Prevents scratches
  • Hard case gives solid feel
  • Click wheel is not covered to allow easy use
  • The case adds only a minimum amount of bulk to the iPod
  • Installation and removal are both easy

Cons

  • Case does not protect against shock
  • Others have mentioned sand and dirt can enter the case resulting in scratches
  • iPod will not sit in some docks with case on

At $25 the price is right in line with other cases. The bigger problem could be finding it. I got mine at The Apple Store.

Overall the Agent 18 VideoShield comes highly recommended.

ipod, apple, apple ipod, video ipod, mp3, mp3 player